Jamaica Inn | 1939 | Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Hara

Jamaica Inn | 1939 | Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Hara

Alfred Hitchcock’s final British film before leaving for the States and a second career is a disappointing and an uncharacteristic romantic melodrama. Set in 19th-century Cornwall, and about an orphan girl who becomes involved with smugglers, it is a travesty of Daphne du Maurier’s novel. Hitchcock, who claimed to dislike historical subjects, said he was intrigued by the dual character of the squire, played with relish in a lip-smacking manner by Charles Laughton. There are few bravado cinematic moments and the film has a stilted studio feel to it. Hitch returned far more successfully to du Maurier 24 years later with The Birds.

cast
Charles Laughton as Sir Humphrey Pengallan
Horace Hodges as Sir Humphrey’s Butler Chadwick
Maureen O’Hara as Mary Yellan
Hay Petrie as Sir Humphrey’s Groom Sam
Frederick Piper as Sir Humphrey’s Agent Davis
Emlyn Williams as Harry the Peddler
Herbert Lomas as Sir Humphrey’s Tenant Dowland
Clare Greet as Granny Tremarney
William Devlin as Sir Humphrey’s Tenant Burdkin
Jeanne De Casalis as Sir Humphrey’s Friend
Mabel Terry-Lewis as Lady Beston
A. Bromley Davenport as Ringwood
George Curzon as Captain Murray
Basil Radford as Lord George
Leslie Banks as Joss Merlyn
Marie Ney as Patience Merlyn
Wylie Watson as Salvation Watkins
Morland Graham as Sea Lawyer Sydney
Edwin Greenwood as Sir Humphrey’s Gang Member Dandy
Mervyn Johns as Sir Humphrey’s Gang Member Thomas
Stephen Haggard as Willie Penhale
Robert Newton as Jem Trehearne
Robert Adair as Captain Murray
Marie Ault as Coach Passenger
O.B. Clarence as Coach Passenger
William Fazan as Undetermined Role
Archie Harradine as Undetermined Role
Mary Jerrold as Miss Black
Harry Lane as Undetermined Role
Sam Lee as Undetermined Role
Alan Lewis as Undetermined Role
John Longden as Captain Johnson
Aubrey Mather as Coachman
Philip Ray as Undetermined Role
A. George Smith as Undetermined Role

crew
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Script: Sidney Gilliat, Joan Harrison, Daphne Du Maurier

UK | 108 minutes | 1939

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